Despite dropping points in a tough July, NYCFC’s victory over the Red Bulls ensures the persistence of their challenge to claim top spot.
NYCFC jumped five points ahead of their inter-city rivals, the New York Red Bulls, with a 3-2 victory over Jesse Marsch’s men at Yankee Stadium this past Sunday.
After NYCFC claimed just one victory in four fixtures throughout July, it appeared as if their season was potentially beginning to unravel. But a massive derby victory places NYCFC back in contention to challenge for top spot in the Eastern Conference.
A 4-0 defeat to first place Toronto may have suggested that NYCFC was incapable of mounting a proper challenge, but as it stands, only four points separate Vieira’s men from the top of the conference. Toronto and Chicago’s upcoming fixture with one another will ensure that NYCFC gains a bit of ground on one of the two, as long as they don’t drop points until then.
Their challenge at the top of the table could have easily ended had they suffered a defeat at Yankee Stadium. The Bronx based side would currently be a point behind the Red Bulls, having played one more game. Atlanta would also be in position to leapfrog them as well.
Fortunately, NYCFC’s victory gives them a bit of breathing space ahead, which is far from the worst position to be in following a turbulent past five weeks. Their challenge at the top just about remains intact, as does their place in the top three — though it is vulnerable.
NYCFC could easily be within a point or two of first in two weeks time as well. Although they didn’t take their opportunities to narrow the gap with Toronto even further, the fact that they still sit third despite a rough schedule is impressive.
Victories against Toronto in July would have been great but being just four points behind the Canadian side is hardly a disaster, either. If worse comes to worst, they will be just as far off the top after Toronto and Chicago’s clash as they are currently.